Many drop out of school, some beg, others whore themselves out to older Filipinos or Kanos, and some just exist, living with family members, working as a maid(sometimes sleeping under their bosses' table, for $50 a month from sun-up til late at night with no days off. Like everywhere, the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, and to top it off, the Philippines is the only nation in the world that has only ten years of education instead of twelve. 1st and 2nd years of college are in essence the junior and senior years of high school. The rich and the powerful like a subservient people who must do as they're told to survive.
Many of these women become bargirls, guest relations hostesses (GRO's), working in seedy bars servicing men from their backsides, looking up every night at fat men, skinny men, foul smelling men, the gentle, the rough, "hell I paid for it, gimme what I want, slut!" They become actresses, learn to hate men, sometimes have sex with one another, and in the morning, they feed their children, parent's, in shanty houses infested with rats and cockroaches that run across them as they try to sleep for a few hours in humid, hot room without fans or electricity, the only toilet, a hole in the floor and a bucket filled with water to wipe their butts off. They hate their lives, but what to do? In Vietnam I knew a bar girl who whored at night and attended the university of Saigon during the day majoring economics, her husband a victim of the war.
These women survive in an ambience of blinking christmas lights and cigarette smoke laced with the smell of stale beer, their bodies the property of whoever rents them for an hour, two hours, the night, and if they resist, they are beaten to a pulp and tossed out into the streets. Cops take bribes, post office employees steal money sent in the mail, workers in the malls wear pants and shirts without pockets, the average wage in the Philippines, $2 to $4 a day. I've been there, folks, as
a patient in the Philippine Orthopedic Charity Ward sharing a room with forty other patients, that has no fan, the windows are broken, cats wander in and out of the room, and the rooms are literally infested with thousands of small cockroaches. The charity ward, compliments of the Catholic Church, has several rooms like the one I stayed in, and share one toilet without a lid or toilet tissue, and stands in 2.5 feet of dank water, the stench, something from the bowels of a sick animal left to die on the side of a road. After I moved to the Philippines, my retirement was put on indefinite hold proceeding the final outcome of a messy divorce from a Filipino woman who'd married me for a free ticket to America and when I asked her for a divorce, she who brutally verbally and physically harmed myself, our two children, and one from a previous marriage, begged me to stay and even said, "if this is about sex, you can bring girls upstairs and fuck them." I turned down the offer, and instead, offered to live in a separate room for the year it'd take to get the divorce, and to pay bills like I'd done in the past. Needless to say, rejection is not her thing coming from a poorer than poor family, and I had to leave the house, rent a place of my own, hire an attorney, pay utilities and our credit card debts, hers and mine . . . I suffered a nervous breakdown and had to resign from my career as a teacher of troubled children, leaving me to live off of $450 a month, the military sent me as a disabled Vietnam vet. I had no choice but to move to the Philippines and live with my intended in a squatter's house, unable to pay child support for our children and my daughter from a previous marriage. In the Philippines we lived off of rice topped with various toppings and recorded music CDs for less than a dollar each. Some days we didn't know what we'd eat the two meal we ate each day. The heat was unbearable, and my depression getting worse by the second until I got to the point where I didn't know what day it was or when it was night or day, living 24 hours, except during meals and relieving myself, in our bedroom. I now get more money from the VA but my Ex wife gets part of that and my entire teacher's retirement pension for child support and will soon get more. And check this out, when I asked the Judge to do a psyche and custody evaluation, she ignored me, conned by my Ex's acting prowess and, instead focused the hearing on how much money I should pay her and questioned why I was living outside of the U.S. Could the Judge exist on $450 a month in the U.S.? Can anyone? I live a better life now thanks to my country who is grateful for my service in Vietnam. And thanks to a wonderful, supportive wife who loves me for who I am and not for money.
I understand the plight of the poor in southeast Asian countries, the hell they must endure so companies like WalMart, Toyota, and Shell Oil Company can make a killing.
To hell and back. Welcome to The Wonderland Amusement park, part illusion, part real, a city of mirrors, where nothing is as it seems. Enter at your own risk. Who knows what you'll learn about yourself? And during your visit, lucky you, become a member.